Aspiring Zifa president, Trevor Carelse Juul met yesterday’s deadline to resubmit his nomination papers after he had been directed to provide additional information by the electoral committee.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
His election agent, Stanley Makombe submitted the forms yesterday at Zifa House and expressed confidence that the nomination would sail through, this time.
The electoral commission will announce the final list of the Zifa board election candidates on Sunday, but by then Juul would have already learnt whether he will be able to contest against Phillip Chiyangwa, Leslie Gwindi and James Takavada for the top post on December 5.
The forms of the South Africa-based businessman had been rejected by the Zifa electoral committee, who ordered he provide information proving he has been resident in Zimbabwe for the past five years as well as fingerprints and a police clearance addressed to the Zifa electoral committee as required by the Zifa constitution.
The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) was also asked to furnish Zifa with information regarding his suspension. However, the SRC leapt to his defence yesterday, saying although he was suspended at some point, the suspension had since been lifted.
“What we know is that the whole Zifa board was suspended by the Sports Commission when Alwyn Pichanick was SRC chairman. The reason for the suspension was failure to remit levies. Trevor was interim chairman and the suspension was only up to the elections the following year, which ushered in the Leo Mugabe executive,” SRC spokesperson, Tirivavi Nheweyembwa said.
SRC director of sports development, Joseph Muchechetere echoed the same sentiments.
“My understanding is that a suspension has a specific period. I don’t have much details at hand, but I know he was suspended for a short period before the elections, which ushered in the Leo Mugabe executive,” he said
A confident Makombe emerged from the Zifa offices to announce that they had met requirements of the electoral committee.
“When we made reference to the law we made sure we resubmitted the nomination forms in accordance with the law. We have indeed submitted the nomination forms and are confident Trevor will be accepted as one of the presidential candidates,” he enthused.
Makombe also took a dig at Juul’s detractors saying, the South Africa based businessman would remain focused despite the tantrums being thrown at him.
He said even if it’s assumed Juul was suspended, the suspension should have lapsed since it happened in the 90s.
“Let me put it straight to fans of Trevor and the sponsors that he was never suspended as some people allege. Even if we assume he was suspended by the Sports Commission that suspension should have lapsed, since it happened in the 90s. Trevor is a law abiding citizen and we are guided by the laws of this country so we have submitted the nomination forms in accordance with those laws,” Makombe said.
He said that they were confident the nomination papers would be accepted. “We believe Juul will be cleared to compete with other presidential candidates that have been cleared. He will not withdraw his candidature despite all the tantrums being thrown at him by his detractors. All supporters are waiting in anticipation of his confirmation as one of the presidential candidates despite all that is being said about him. He remains focused and believes in inclusivity because Zimbabwean football is divided,” Makombe said.
He said the country’s laws allow dual citizenship and that the issue of residence cannot be contested.
According to Article 32(4) of the Zifa constitution: “Members of the executive committee shall have already been active in football administration for at least five years, must not have been previously found guilty of a criminal offence as defined under criminal law and have residency within the territory of Zifa.”
Asked how Juul would conduct Zifa business as president since he was based in South Africa, Makombe said the same Zifa appointed Ian Gorowa, who was based in South Africa, who did well during his reign as Warriors coach.
“It’s the same Zifa that appointed former Warriors coach, Ian Gorowa who was based in South Africa and he did well as coach of the Warriors. In any case, flying from South Africa is shorter than driving from Mutare,” Makombe said.
Juul, who contested and lost to Cuthbert Dube in the 2014 elections, was ordered to provide information proving that he has been resident in Zimbabwe for the past five years as well as fingerprints and a police clearance addressed to the Zifa electoral committee.
The Electoral Committee is set to meet on Friday to finalise vetting of the candidates.